Walls have recently gone up around the queue of The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Workers have begun the installation process for some new interactive elements that will be added to the queue. WDWMagic has some images from a test that was done back in April of an interactive game in the queue. It sounds like the current installation will involve something similar.
They also mention something about this being part of the Next-Gen project. I haven’t heard that, but I do know that Disney is concerned with improving guest satisfaction in the parks. The number one complaint is having to wait in queue for attractions.
Fastpass is one attempt to solve that (and generate incremental retail and food sales). Alas, the benefits from fastpass was not as great as Disney thought and it continues to rank up there in complaints from those who either arrive to late in the day to use it or don’t understand it. Plus, there are fewer attractions where Fastpass is actually useful without effectively reducing attraction capacity and increasing labor costs.
While the Tiki Room has one of the original interactive queues, the modern implementation of interactive queues can be traced back to the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. Rather than long switchbacks, guests were wound through rooms where various interactive show elements could be engaged. The recent queue enhancements at Orlando’s Space Mountain is another example. A similar idea at EPCOT’s Soarin’ hasn’t been quite as successful.
The Haunted Mansion is just one attraction getting these elements. Winnie the Pooh at the Magic Kingdom, Rock’n'Roller Coaster at DHS, and Dumbo in the new Fantasyland expansion have all been ‘announced’ as candidates for new-style queues. Obviously, there are plenty of other candidates. Are there any you’d like to see Disney tackle next?
Is this part of the secretive Next-Gen project or just another attempt to drive up guest satisfaction scores? I can’t wait to find out.